AUGUSTA — More than 600 union members protested in the State House today against LD 309, which would end the practice of allowing the state to automatically deduct union fees from nonunion state workers covered by collective bargaining agreements.

Those who spoke at the Hall of Flags rally said the bill would impact far more than just state workers. Members of several unions — mill workers, electrical workers, nurses and firefighters — all held signs and chanted in opposition to the bill.

“Passing this bill will be nothing short of irresponsible,” said Lewiston Mayor Larry Gilbert. “Governor, who was born in my hometown, if it is about people before politics these are the people you need to be supporting.”

A public hearing on the bill is scheduled for this afternoon before the Legislature’s Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee.